GETTING THE MOST OUT OF MEETINGS
Productivity is a crucial issue in any business, and the saying that time is money is a reality, particularly in today's world, where immediacy is a prime day-to-day concern. Work meetings are often a source of conflict in this regard, since some people feel they take up too much time. Let's look at a new few ways of ensuring we make the most out of work meetings.
Work meetings aren't always necessary, but on scheduling one it's important to choose the right workspace in which to hold them -since all offices have one that's more suitable than others- and that they're really appropriate for the task at hand. Although all team members have a measure of responsibility, the burden falls mainly on the person in charge.
Firstly, it's important to define exactly what's going to be discussed by establishing and order of business on the topics to be addressed and focusing the meeting on those topics alone. Sometimes a lot of time is wasted talking about things that have little to do with what's on the agenda.
Secondly, it's equally important to set the date and time of the meeting in good time. If the meeting concerns following up on projects, the ideal thing is to schedule them on a regular, foreseeable basis. This ensures that everyone attending the meeting will have a clear idea of what they need to prepare beforehand. By the same token, it's also important to define how long the meeting will last to avoid wasting time, and to keep a record of actions to be taken in order to keep tabs on the progress made.
One way of optimising the duration of a meeting is to focus exclusively on what's being discussed, regardless of the workspace or whether team members or executives are involved. It's important for the executive in charge to steer the meeting without forgetting its aim, by letting everyone have their say, making sure no one veers off topic, avoiding negative comments, and ensuring participants draw up the reports they've been asked to make. Regarding team members, ideally the matters at hand shouldn't have to be repeated due to people not paying attention.
Finally, we should mention that where the meeting is held is also important. Choosing a quiet, discreet, easily accessible area with internet availability will help to boost work meeting productivity and avoid wasting time. The trend in large cities is to create facilities designed to favour work meetings, such as office buildings, technological parks and co-working facilities.
Although all these points may seem pretty straightforward, they're not always easy to accomplish. Human beings tend to be expansive, so it's easy for people to become confused without proactive leadership and a series of guidelines. Even so, if we take a methodical approach we'll create habits that sure to improve productivity in the long term.